I learned pretty quickly that children can learn how to help and contribute to your family by helping out with chores. As soon as they were old enough to understand commands and handle a task (around 3 years old?), I was having them “help” me around the house. Then I had a couple kids and decided a chore chart could be beneficial…. and it has been!
I learned pretty quickly when my boys were young, that if I didn’t have some help, I was going to drown in things needing to be cleaned! This is when the chore chart was born.
There is no reason you cannot start training your child to help clean up the messes that they made! I, as a mother, am not a maid. And neither are you!
It starts by having them clean their plate off the table. Or picking up some toys they got out. Or some cereal they have dropped (even if accidental!).
How we do chores
Chores aren’t a punishment! Chores are simply contributing to the family! We all live in our home together. And just like a business doesn’t run on one person while everyone else watches tv, your home won’t run on a system like that either!
When you start to train your child to help with chores, make sure you praise them for helping! Actually, I try to STILL thank my boys for doing the chores that they are supposed to do, simply because it is always nice to hear a thank you for doing things, even if it’s your job!
We have our chores on a rotating schedule, that way no one person gets stuck with dishes every night. This also helps them to appreciate they jobs that need to be done. Then maybe they won’t leave the mess on the table or use more than one cup for water.
Remind them! Don’t let them skimp out on the chores because they came home later than usual, or because they got busy playing on their iPad! Kids are smart. Don’t put it past them that they tried to get away with NOT doing chores. If they don’t do it, SOMEONE still has to do it. We only take over for another person’s chores IF they are gone all evening and didn’t eat dinner with us. If my son gets home from work at 7:15pm, he can still take out the trash!
Also, we do not pay our kids for helping with chores. not in dollars, not in favors! I do not get paid to make dinner or to do laundry. The key that I hope you all see here is contributing.
I especially want to teach my sons that they are a contributor to the family. As a husband someday, I don’t want them to think that working outside the home is contribution enough and the rest is on their wives. I see plenty of men who don’t even ‘babysit’ their own kids. These are the things that I am hoping to avoid with my boys.
I have said it before, I will say it again, I want my boys to be good husbands someday, and that is how I will try to raise them.
One other thing I want to plug in here as an added bonus to not getting paid but helping because it’s the right thing… my kids also help other people who need help. And they don’t EXPECT to get paid. They have helped roof someone’s home. Raked leaves. Hauled firewood. As well as many other things. Sometimes people will pay them, sometimes not. Either way, they can look at what they did and know they did the right thing.
Do they fight or argue about doing certain chores? Heck yes they do. But they know that if their name is on the chart for counters, they have to do that job not matter what happened the day before or earlier that day!
What do you think?
Now I am only stating here what we do in our house. This works for us! I am not saying because this is how I do it, this is how you ALL must do it! All families and family dynamics are different! What works for us, may not work for you!
At the end of the day, you have to work at doing the best you can with what you have. Don’t let what anyone else does make you feel less than, or ashamed of what you do. If we can learn something from others, great!
I hope to be a resource for people, to give ideas, to encourage. Not to shame because we do things differently.
So what do you do? Do you wish you had done anything differently? Is something working really well, and you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!